ISO years and still digging
Founded in Sollthwark at an inaugural meeting in May 1854, the Surrey Archaeological Society has juSt celebrated its 150th birthday. CU1nl1t A"chaeology went along to the party and had a mmmage through the society archives. Here we offer a selection of images. The}' give us a representative slice of British archaeology over the last cenmry and a half. We find that some things have d1anged radically - like the organisation of excavations in the 1960s compared wid1 today - and others hardly at all - such as archaeology's concern with 'd1e careful observation and preservation of antiquities discovered in the progress of works, such as railways and foundations of buildings', (to quare one of the founding documents of the Surrey society in 1854).
Chertsey Abbey. Above. An excavation photograph of 1855 showing two opened coffins in a trench. We believe this is the EARLIEST EXCAVATION PHOTO EVER TAKEN. Does anyone out there wish to challenge the Surrey claim? We would be interested to hear from you. Left. The three Victorian labourers who did most of the digging at Chertsey. The photo is thought to date from 1861.